New BBC1 entertainment show celebrates the talent of tribute artists

Even Better Than The Real Thing will pit professional tribute artists against each other to find out who could give the real stars a run for their money

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There has been a recent spate of very specific talent shows: looking for the best people to impersonate Take That, the best dogs to be put in charge of planes, and now, the person who is best at pretending to be a famous pop artist for a living.  

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Due to air on BBC1 in the autumn, Even Better Than The Real Thing will see professional tribute artists recreate the performances of their idols, with the audience voting on the best act.

In the one hour special, the competitors will also sing ‘unique collaborations’ together, giving viewers the chance to witness duets they wouldn’t have thought possible. Perhaps huge-voiced Londoners Adele and Amy will have a sing-off, or Michael Jackson will moonwalk to Ed Sheehan’s ‘Shape of You’?

At the end of the show the studio audience will decide who, on the night, really was Even Better Than The Real Thing. 

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Among the stars being honoured by talented doppelgängers are George Michael, Ed Sheeran, Amy Winehouse, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, and Adele. The latter star isn’t averse to a musical impersonation herself, whether it is following in the footsteps of her heroes The Spice Girls or rapping Nicki Minaj on Car Pool Karaoke, which in turn was spoofed by one of her tribute acts in a kind of impersonation inception. 

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The show was commissioned by Rachel Ashdown, who claims that it is in some respects a tribute itself – to the tribute artists it features and the art of impersonation. “In the last ten years, tribute artists have exploded in popularity across the UK and around the world,” she said. “Their talent and professionalism is breathtaking and now BBC1 is delighted to be sharing and celebrating these show-stopping performances.”